Friday, May 27, 2016

Halfway there! (el Camino del Norte)

Our clothes were still damp in the dry room this morning but we didn't want to make a fuss, so we packed them into plastic bags thinking we could find a laundromat with a dryer somewhere along the way. Bidding Jesus a warm farewell, we hiked the 1.5 km to Llanes which was the actual big town we thought we had reached the night before, and walked around for awhile trying to find a clothes dryer to no avail.

Something we've noticed along the way is that people get early morning pan (bread) delivery to their doorstep.

Llanes is another picturesque seaside town, with lots of boats, colorful houses and a vibrant city center.

Onwards the Camino took us through the  village of Poo 

and then back towards the ocean past another abandoned monastery at St Antolin beside a large pebbled beach. 

The sun had come out at this point and we needed a pack break, so the decision was made to have a picnic and dry out our tent and clothes by laying them out in the hot sun.

While everything dried out, Josh and I enjoyed avocado and cheese sandwiches washed down with fruit juice. It seemed to me that my hiker hunger had arrived in force today as I am totally ravenous.

It was a long 20 miles/32km plus 
today as we walked at a fairly descent pace to get to our destination of the day at 414km/ 259 miles along el Camino Del Norte. One of the historical bridges along the way today was built in medieval times.

 We've actually hiked a longer distance than the 414km, due to taking the wrong trail in the beginning and then having to backtrack.
I'm really enjoying the colorful houses in this province. The Italian Stallion waved at us as we passed by an Albergue, he had stopped for the day as he was experiencing painful shin splints. The way we always meet up with him is a real representation of the rabbit and the tortoise.

It amazes me how different each province is, although they also have many similarities too.

Once we arrived in Rhibadasella we were greeted with gorgeous little terraced veranda gardens and then going down into the city square, we were amazed to find the first open church on the entire journey: Iglesia Mary Magdalene.

We had missed the city information office by five minutes. I must add that these tourist information offices have been the most friendly, helpful and amazing places along the Camino except for the woman working at the office in Loredo who was awful and extremely sarcastic.
We had met two German guys along the way today and they had mentioned a campsite 3km outside of Ribadasella and we planned to make it there by nightfall. They told us how difficult it had been for them to find a bed in an Albergue at the end of a long day of walking and sometimes they would have to keep hiking until the next village or two to find one. It made us feel really glad to have our tent with us.

 Nowhere in town could we buy anything to eat except pinchos and we were sick of them, so we opted to go to a grocery store and buy fresh food instead, having salad tortilla wraps with fruit and juice for supper which felt like a good choice. We found a table outside a closed restaurant and decided to eat our dinner there but midway through dinner, the restaurant opened and we were told to leave immediately in a rather rude manner.
Nevertheless, our tent is up in a nice little campground. We've showered and I'm lying on my "mother of comfort" Big Agnes mattress which truly lives up to its name. 
Good night from the Camino.

Best thing in the backpack: 2 tea towels I threw in at the last moment to be used as shower towels. They double up as clavicle pads to reduce the pain from our pack straps. We both have one painful clavicle and placing a small towel under the shoulder strap works miracles!

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